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25 years of Shanghai Sunrise - How it all began

Shanghai Sunrise 25th Anniversary

Social media campaign “25 years of Shanghai Sunrise”

Shanghai Sunrise is turning 25 this year! In a series of short articles, we will be taking a walk down memory lane highlighting different aspects of our organization’s work.

Today, we want to look back at how it all began. Who founded Shanghai Sunrise and why?

Education for all?

While working on a documentary in Shanghai in early 1996, Charlotte Ashby, a British film producer, was surprised to often see young school-aged children playing in the streets in the middle of the day. After talking to people, she discovered that many families couldn’t afford to send their kids to school. It wasn’t just school fees; other education-related expenses such as books, uniforms, lunch and transportation were out of their reach. Together with her team, Charlotte wanted to help these kids from poor families attend school. An idea was born: Have her friends in the expat community sponsor local students so they could go to primary school.